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APB Sells First Sniper System to Japan s Riken Institute

NEW YORK, Oct 26 – Amersham Pharmacia Biotech said Thursday it had sold its first Sniper SNP analysis system to Riken, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, one of Japan’s biggest publicly-financed scientific institutes.

The Sniper system, which APB introduced at the American Society for Human Genetics 2000 meeting earlier this month, is a high-throughput SNP screening system that can analyze up to 50,000 genotypes per day. With the addition of a CCD imager, APB says the machine will be able to score up to 500,000 SNPs per day.  

APB bills the Sniper as a more affordable alternative to existing SNP scoring technology, because it uses rolling circle amplification, a supposedly cheaper and faster alternative to PCR.

Riken obtained the Sniper under APB’s early access program, which allows customers to get a system as soon as it becomes available and provides guidance and training from the company on how to set up and use the system. In return, the customer can inform the company about potential glitches and help validate the system. APB has several other similar agreements in the works for the Sniper, according to an APB spokeswoman.

She declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

At Riken, Tokyo University Genetic researcher Yusuke Nakamura will be using the system’s SNP scoring capabilities to analyze the genetic diversity of the Japanese population in responses to drug treatments.

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